Newcastle West retain Limerick SFC title in extra-time final thriller

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SFC county final man of the match Mike McMahon receiving his award from sponsor Paddy Mulvhill

FOR the first time in their long and proud history, Newcastle West are back-to-back Limerick Senior Football Champions.

In fading light at Kilmallock’s Fitzgerald Park on Sunday, the defending champions overcame their fiercest of rivals Adare 1-11 to 2-5 following an extra-time final thriller.

It was the team’s fourth triumph in just eight seasons, moving them into joint sixth – along with Monaleen and Oola – in the Roll of Honour.

NCW led by five points in the game’s infancy, thanks in part to a fisted goal from Mike McMahon, but Adare came back strongly and banged home three-pointers of their own in either half of normal-time (courtesy of Robbie Bourke and Shane O’Connor) to set up a wonderful finale.

NCW had been a point to the good on the half-hour mark.

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Mark Connolly popped over what appeared a winner late-on for Adare, only for Darren O’Doherty to quickly equalise at the other end to extend this absorbing contest.

After 60 minutes, it was NCW 1-7, Adare 2-4.

The Jimmy Lee-managed NCW were the better side in those additional 20 minutes, with crucial points arriving from the likes of evergreen McMahon (man-of-the-match and top-scorer with a brilliant 1-3), captain Iain Corbett, and All-Star nominee Cian Sheehan.

The win represented a seventh county senior success for The Magpies, adding to their previous wins of 1987, 92, 15, 19, and 21.

Either Nemo Rangers of Cork or Tipperary’s Clonmel Commercials, who meet at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday next, will provide Munster semi-final opposition to NCW in a fortnights time.